Top 10 Farmers Market Etiquette Tips (via Sustainable Cooking for One)

It’s National Farmer’s Market Week. The 7,175 farmers markets on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farmers market directory represent a 17 percent increase since last year. While the increase is encouraging, we all need to have an appreciation for the hardwork and dedication required to get produce to the market. Ground Cherry has done a nice job of outlining some basic market etiquette. Please try to visit one this week!

Olympia Farmers' Market

1. Go with vague ideas, but be flexible. The tomatoes may be wonderful, but if they’re sold out, how about a pasta dish with zucchini and mint instead?

2. Be patient. No pushing, grabbing, or skipping in line.

3. Ask questions: recipes ideas, name that vegetable, how long something will keep… this is one difference between the supermarket and your local producers.

4. Volunteer answers. If someone asks about your favorite vegetable, tell them wh … Read More

via Sustainable Cooking for One

Laughter

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” The quote from Woody Allen describes the condition that triggers the release of endorphins, our natural feel-good chemicals that promote a sense of well-being and have also been shown to relieve pain. It also triggers the release of milk from one’s nostrils but never mind.

flickr.cc.2.0/photos/chrishuggins

Paletas

One of the greatest benefits of eating seasonally is that foods begin to speak of the seasons themselves. I only need to hear the words rhubarb crisp or see a photo and I’m instantly cast into mid-July. Peaches, berries, and sweet corn do something similar to me. But here in the desert where it’s so brutally hot, it’s hard to contemplate a dish that will require us firing up the oven. Conversely, there’s nothing so welcome as a cool refreshment.

Paletas de Pepino - okay the sticks are a little off-center!

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Tumbling the Pyramid

I actually expected to see it happen last year. With Michelle Obama’s focus on childhood obesity, I knew it we were in for a revision. Online the USDA claimed a planned update in 2010. Then I got word from a wonderful blog, The Table of Promise, the new American eating plan had been unveiled.

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Waste Not, Want Not

The elaborate meaning is that if we don’t waste anything, then we won’t want anything. I’m not certain if it’s  true but it’s definitely a saying that was common in my home as a child. It came from my depression era grandmother who in her farm upbringing learned to use more parts of a chicken that I wish to acknowledge. And we know this is true of other cultures such as the Chinese and the Native Americans.

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Salt of the Earth

Salt is the new black. But then black salt might refer to sea salt that is mixed with activated charcoal or to Kala Namak, the deep purple salt from India with an odor telling of its sulfur content. Whether it’s pink salt from the Himalayas or matcha green tea salt, recently I’ve seen a number of recipes that call for a specific salt pedigree.

Peruvian Salt in the Sacred Valley Ogwen.flickr.cc.2.0

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La Diferencia de la Comida

Just writing this post is an adventure in itself. This is my first attempt at blogging from my iPad and from Perú. I’m here with 24 others on a Journey of Discovery high in the Andes Mountains. Every direction I look is the full-color pullout of a National Geographic. And at every turn, I learn how food played a dominant role in this ancient civilization.

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Getting Back on the Turnip Truck

I have no idea where the phrase, “didn’t just fall off the turnip turnip truck” originates. In fact, if you talk with my 93 year old grandmother, she’ll tell you that the milk truck was actually more hazardous. Evan Morris believes it is an example of a catch phrase based upon urban-rural rivalry.

3 lb Turnip in my CSA (egg for scale)

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Say Cheese!

Yellow, blue, green, stinky, and with holes – while that might sound like a description of my teenager’s sock drawer, it’s much better suited to one of my greatest food weaknesses – cheese. I can honestly say that I’ve not encountered a variety that I don’t love. Eaten alone, on crackers or with fruit, cheese is something that always satisfies.

flickr.com/cc2.0/photos/ladymissmarquis

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Cracking the Cultural Nut

A colleague recently told me, “I’m not nearly as good as you are at getting my kids out to cultural events.” I knew instantly that my own kids might prefer to live in her house. You see, I love arts and humanities and I have this twisted parental attitude that developed years ago while reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting that says, exposure to said events will result in increased synapse firing for developing brains. In other words, what I love must be good for them!

flickr.com/photos/peasap/photostream/

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